Japan Trade Balance Swings to Surplus In November

Japan recorded a JPY 153 billion trade surplus in November of 2016, compared to JPY 387 billion deficit a year earlier but lower than market expectations of JPY 227.4 billion surplus. Exports declined 0.4 percent year-on-year, 14th consecutive drop but less than expectations of an 2 percent fall. Imports shrank 8.8 percent compared to forecasts of a 12.6 percent decrease.

Exports decreased to JPY 5956.5 billion. Sales went down mainly to Thailand (-9.5 percent); Philippines (-6.9 percent); Taiwan (-1.2 percent); India (-1.2 percent); the United States (-1.8 percent). In contrast, exports rose to China (+4.4 percent); South Korea (+11.9 percent); Singapore (-2.8 percent) and Malaysia (+5.9 percent). By product, declines were reported for transport equipment (-4.6 percent), namely cars (-7.4 percent); and manufactured goods (-6.4 percent), namely iron and steel products (-12.1 percent).

Imports went down to JPY 5804 billion. Purchases from China shrank 9.9 percent and those from the United States fell 5.1 percent. By product, mineral fuels accounted the most for the decline (-14.4 percent), namely petroleum (-14.4 percent). Also, imports fell for chemicals (-13.1 percent); manufactured goods (-8.7 percent) and electrical machinery (-9.1 percent). 

Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com
12/19/2016 12:17:55 AM